Oh yeah! Just more proof that #westcoastisthebestcoast.
First, we had Sara tells us about moving to the Valley from Maryland, and now team HMA comes to find that yet another communications pro made the move here from the East Coast in the past year.
Teresa K. Traverse, who’s quickly made a name for herself as a freelance writing machine here in the Valley between her work at the Phoenix New Times, Modern Luxury, Phoenix Magazine, and with the Lifestyle Pubs’ family of magazines, among others, may seem like an expert on all things Phoenix and beyond – but she just moved here last summer from Virginia!
Below, she shares how she got her start in writing, all about starting her career on the East Coast, how and why she made her move to Arizona – and, of course, the types of stories she likes to get pitches on!
So, Teresa, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
So I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. in Virginia. I started writing for my middle school newspaper (eek!) at 13, and something about it just instantly clicked. I fell in love with publishing and continued to write for publications when I was in school. During the summer before my final semester in college, I landed my first internship at the now-folded Parenting magazine. After a few more internships, I finally landed a gig at a tiny corporate publisher in Virginia. I was laid off after about a year and decided to give freelancing a go.
During my first few years, I took a bunch of press trips, and I gradually fell in love with the West. For starters, some of my favorite foods like sushi and tacos just taste better here. It’s also gorgeous—I love mountains and being outdoors—and I dig the more laid-back vibe. Plus, I knew that Virginia was just not my forever home. It’s strange to say that my intuition brought me here, but it really did. Phoenix just got stuck in my head and would not leave. I visited once for about a week in January of 2015 and decided I could see myself living here.
I finally made the leap in July of 2015 and spent about a month on the road with my two long-haired Chihuahuas (see their Instagram here, BTW). From my travels: You MUST try hot chicken in Nashville. The Arkansas Ozarks are stunning. New Mexico really is enchanting. And Texas is, well, Texas. I recommend that everyone should take a cross country road trip at least once. It’s a quintessential American experience.
When I first landed here and my head stopped spinning from being in a new area, I started writing for the Phoenix New Times after seeing a post about how the food blog was searching for writers. I would drive all over the Valley eating desserts from top bakeries and photographing pretty patios for my list features. Pro tip: if you want to learn a market, fast, start writing for your local weekly. And from there, my client base grew. In addition to the local outlets I write for, I also work for PetMD and its soon to be launched lifestyle site, PawCulture and a smattering of other outlets. I’m currently obsessed with all of the great coffee shops in Phoenix and finding dive-y and delicious taco shops.
Please pitch me anything related to food, travel, pets, the arts or fitness. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter here or on Instagram here. Check out media samples at www.teresaktraverse.com.